FORMER US president Bill Clinton said suspected terror
mastermind Osama bin Laden was conspiring to kill him and was
training hitmen for that purpose.
”And we know at the same time he was training people to kill me.
Which was fair enough – I was trying to get him,” Clinton told
Newsweek magazine in an interview.
The Saudi-born radical is blamed for masterminding the September
11 attacks on the United States as well as the 1998 US embassy
bombings in East Africa.
Clinton said that in 2000, US intelligence had
learned with a certain degree of accuracy where bin Laden would
spend the night.
But he said he had opted against a military strike against that
location to avoid civilian casualties.
”There were a very large number of women and children in that
compound and it’s almost like he was daring me to kill them,”
Clinton said. ”I felt it would hurt America’s interests if we
killed a lot of Afghani women and children and didn’t even get
The other option was to train commandos to go after him, the
former president said.
But he argued the US military could not get close to Afghanistan
”since we didn’t have any basing rights then, and we didn’t have
anything like the international support that existed after
September 11 for overthrowing the Taliban.” – Sapa-AFP